'It's unusual to have five or six in there that look really good' - Lambert on Ipswich academy
PUBLISHED: 10:00 21 November 2018
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Ipswich Town boss Paul Lambert is impressed with what he's seen of the Blues' academy during his early weeks of his reign.
While the Scot’s main concern is trying to guide the first-team away from the bottom of the Championship table, he has kept a close eye on the academy set-up and has attended Under 23 games all the way down to the Under 15s.
And he’s been impressed by the standard of football in the younger age groups.
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“In the short space of time that I’ve been here I’ve watched the Under 15s play and it’s unusual where you have five or six kids in there that look really good,” he said.
“But nobody knows what’s going to happen to them in the teenage years when they leave school and they discover nightclubs and alcohol and things like that, it’s true.
“I think it’s important they have to stay on their path and do things the right way and sacrifice a lot of stuff, and if they do that they’ve got a chance. Especially the younger ones, you have to keep them on track.”
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Lambert believes clubs like Ipswich need to produce their own players in order to compete and, as he has proved throughout his career in management, he is happy to throw players into senior action if he believes they have what it takes.
“I think it’s great but you can have the best academy in the world but if you’re not producing players there’s no benefit of it,” he said.
“You’ve got to produce players and clubs like Ipswich have to produce their own players and I’m always of the view that if you’re young enough I think you’re good enough I think I’ll throw you in because you have to learn at some point.
“The club has got kids coming through, it doesn’t matter to me if you’re young or not, if I think you deserve it I’ll play you.
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“They know that. Judge it by my own career. I needed a manager to have faith in me at 15 to throw me in and he threw me in.
“You learn, you go back out the side and you come back in and it was really at 16 that I started to make a move on it and it went from there. I needed the manager to have the belief in me to throw me in.”